Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The ingredient of the week - L-Ascorbic Acid


I often get asked about efficacy of certain skincare products, whether such and such cream is worth paying xyz amount money for and what really works for wrinkles etc….

There are so many good creams around that make a huge difference to skin, but there are even more of those that are useless water in oil/oil in water concoction that do no more than a regular £5 moisturiser would do. Add to that lots of fillers and you have an exotic sounding cream that does nothing for you. Read your ingredients people and learn what those ingredients mean for your skin!

Anyway, one “product” that I know that works to get rid of fine lines is vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid. On one hand, it works like a mild exfoliating agent and on the other, it helps the skin synthetize collagen, so in other words, it will repair any damage that you’ve inflicted on your skin by living your life and enjoying it.

But it’s not so easy in the world of vitamin C. Well, actually it’s not so easy if you’re a big cosmetic company wishing to make money out of it!

Vitamin C is water soluble, highly unstable ingredient to be suitably effective in creams. What that actually means is… don’t buy creams with vitamin C in it, the chances are by the time that cream reaches you, any L-ascorbic acid present will be totally useless. Skincare companies would also make sure the cream is coloured orange, so it looks “healthy”, but in real terms, if vitamin C goes orange it’s deemed oxidised, or in other words, dead. Parrot dead.

To make the most of the L-ascorbic acid’s goodness you should make your own toner and use it fresh. There are other methods of use that involve mixing with distilled water and lotion and keeping in the fridge, but I find mine the easiest.

Buy some vitamin C powder in your health food shop. Don’t be tempted to use some orange sugar flavoured tablets that are sold as a supplement, it’s not what you want on this occasion.  You take a quarter of teaspoon of vitamin C, mix it in a little bit of water and apply it on your face with a cotton wool. Leave it for a while, unless it really stings. If it stings, wash it off and build your tolerance bit by bit.
If you decide to leave it on your skin, wait ten or so minutes before applying your regular cream. And there you go, your own homemade anti-ageing ingredient that actually works. Enjoy!

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